U.S. Congressman Garret Graves announced today the red snapper populations in U.S. coastal waters are 110 million red snapper – roughly three times more than previously estimated (approximately 36 million). This just announced Gulf of Mexico Great Red Snapper Count is going to help us improve fishing opportunities by cutting back on the strict fishing seasons and two-fish limit, putting the reels in the hands of our anglers more often.
The report estimates that there are 29 million adult snapper off the Louisiana coast, 48 million off Florida, 23 million off Texas, and 10 million off Mississippi and Alabama.
“There is no doubt this is going to change the entire game in how the fishery is assessed by federal and state officials,” stated Congressman Graves. “We’ve made it a point to fully equip the Gulf States with more science and independent data to improve the management of this species so we don’t lose ground on the success we’ve made in conservation efforts.
“In 2016, we won the battle to wrestle control of flawed red snapper management from the federal government. We now have better fish management, better access to fishing and improved economic activity. The Modern Fish Act, our bill to require the inclusion of recreational fisheries and better data in fish management practices, became law in 2018. Then in December 2020, the DESCEND Act become law which will help mitigate half a million red snapper deaths due to barotrauma (rapid pressure changes). Without a doubt, we are going to see more fish, more fishing opportunities in the Gulf, more tourism and better sustainability of our fisheries.
“Years of working toward these wins will pay off for our conservation efforts, get anglers some more time on the water, and more red snapper in the ice chest for good eating. I appreciate all of the support and hard work of the Coastal Conservation Association, American Sportfish Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, TRCP and all the anglers out there that are the true conservationists that want to ensure fishing opportunities for generations to come. We’ve created a foundation for successful state management of the species through our previous legislation and the results are reflective of the progress we have made.”
To read about the red snapper legislative efforts, click here.
Read more about the findings here.
For more about the Great Red Snapper Count including project and partner information, fact sheets, videos, and to download a copy of the report, visit SnapperCount.org.